“It is difficult to think of two cities of greater contrasts — Osaka, a modern, fast moving, industrial conurbation where change is the only constant, and Florence, with its ancient palazzi, veneration of antiquity and slow, considered pace of life. Yet it was this striking difference that inspired the young Kotaro Miyahira to leave his native city in Japan and head for the cradle of the Renaissance. It wasn’t Florence’s great hoard of paintings and sculpture that appealed to him, however, — it was the Tuscan capital’s centuries-old tradition of excellent tailoring. “I was 20 years old and I’d spent those 20 years believing that Florentine style was the best in the world,” says Miyahira, now 34. “Italian fashion started to become popular in Japan when I was young. But I wasn’t interested in fashion as such. I wanted to become a craftsman.”
His parents had separated when he was 10 and his father had died shortly afterwards. His mother worked at a local gas company to support the family but Miyahira’s focus was style and design, especially anything that came from Italy, and Florence in particular. After leaving school at 17 he found a job in a factory that made Italian-style clothing. This, he believes, helped prepare him for the next stage of his career — as a tailoring apprentice in Florence.”from the article by Simon Brooke on The Financial Times, October 14 2016
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